Explore the Worst Rugby Injuries of All Time

It’s no secret that Rugby players occasionally suffer horrific injuries. Going up against players that get burlier each year has its consequences. A recent study by orthopedics at Dublin’s Tallaght hospital highlighted these injuries. The study found that Rugby players experience the some of the same injuries as car crash victims. Hip bone fractures, ruptured calves & open wounds are all possible when playing rugby.

In a sport that’s played by millions, there are bound to be some epic injuries. However, there are ways to stay out of harm’s way. If you stick with playing against people your size, the odds of getting injured decrease. Unfortunately, accidents still happen even with the best intentions. This is especially apparent when dealing with top notch athletes. Every year the players get bigger & bigger, so it’s only natural that the injuries get more shocking.

Since league injuries steal the show, the spotlight is on professional players. We have come up with a list of some of the most horrific rugby injuries of all time. These injuries are so graphic that we refuse to post pictures of them. But for the brave hearted, a simple Google search will show everything that you are missing. Prepare to be blown away by these outrageous accidents!

Worst Rugby Injuries of All Time

Identifying the “worst” rugby injuries of all time is subjective, as the severity and impact of injuries can vary. However, some injuries have been particularly noteworthy due to their severity, the impact on the players involved, or the visibility they received. Here are a few instances that have been considered among the worst rugby injuries:

  1. Jean-Pierre Rives (1984):
    • French flanker Jean-Pierre Rives suffered a career-ending injury during a match against South Africa in 1984. The injury, a dislocated knee, marked the end of Rives’ illustrious rugby career.
  2. Brian O’Driscoll (2005):
    • Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll dislocated his shoulder during the opening minutes of the first Lions Test against New Zealand in 2005. The injury required surgery and had a significant impact on the Lions’ chances in the series.
  3. Joost van der Westhuizen (2009):
    • South African scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND) in 2011. While not a traditional on-field injury, MND is a progressive and incurable disease. Van der Westhuizen passed away in 2017.
  4. Shane Horgan (2005):
    • Irish winger Shane Horgan suffered a serious knee injury during a Heineken Cup match in 2005. The injury required reconstructive surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process.
  5. Paul O’Connell (2015):
    • Irish lock Paul O’Connell sustained a significant hamstring injury during the 2015 Rugby World Cup quarter-final against France. The injury ended his World Cup campaign and had implications for his career.
  6. Thinus Delport (2003):
    • South African fullback Thinus Delport suffered a serious leg injury during a rugby match in 2003. The injury included a compound fracture, and the incident was highly visible due to the severity of the injury.
  7. Richie McCaw (2007):
    • New Zealand’s Richie McCaw suffered a severe ankle injury during a test match against France in 2007. The injury required surgery, and McCaw faced an extended period of rehabilitation.
  8. Nick Easter (2010):
    • English forward Nick Easter suffered a career-threatening back injury during a match in 2010. The injury required surgery, and Easter faced a challenging recovery process.

It’s important to note that rugby is a physical and demanding sport, and injuries are an inherent risk. Players often face various injuries throughout their careers, and the impact of these injuries can extend beyond the playing field. Player welfare and safety are priorities for rugby organizations, leading to ongoing efforts to minimize the risks associated with the sport.

3 Worst Rugby Injuries

worst rugby injuries
Ruby is a sport that sheds its fair share of blood.

Rugby Injury #1: Ceri Davies – When Welsh rugby player Ceri Davies competed against the Carmarthen Druids, it was just another game. Tensions were high & the energy at the stadium was electrifying. It was yet another fierce battle for the Lloandovery 2nds. Before the match was over, Ceri managed to steal the show. Unfortunately the spotlight wasn’t on his talent, it was on his breathtaking injury. During a bloody takedown Ceri ruptured his calf. This opened up an amazingly large wound on his leg, which was quickly posted online. The photo spread across social media like wild fire, making people cringe around the world.

Rugby Injury #2: Lacie Munro – Lyon winger Lacie Munro suffered one of the most gruesome rugby injuries of all time in January 2014. To no one’s surprise, the injury happened in a French Pro D2 League match. These games are infamous for their level of brutality, & this match didn’t disappoint. Before the end of the match Lacie Munro suffered a horrific split lip. The photo was so revolting that it was paraded around social media for months. Before you look up the picture make sure you are ready for gore!

Rugby Injury #3: Nicholas Schonert – The root of many terrifying rugby injuries stem from studs. They are perfect tools to grip the field, but they also do excellent jobs at slicing through human flesh. The former Cheetahs star was brutally reminded of this when he played prop for the Worcester Warriors. In a heated match against the Saracens, Nicholas found himself on the wrong end of Maro Itoje’s stud. The English star’s stud showed no mercy, slicing Nicholas’ face wide open. After 40 stitches the wound was finally closed, but it still makes anyone who sees the photo shudder.